Meet Hashim Abdusheikh

business students working together at table

Hashim completed a six month paid industry placement as part of his International Business programme. Here he tells us about his experience and what he learnt from it

Where did you do your placement?

It was a six-month work placement at HMG Paints Ltd, a family business established in 1930, that has grown to become the largest independent paint manufacturer in UK based in Manchester. It produces and supplies a variety of surface coatings across various industries in UK.

What did it involve?

The main aim and objective of the work placement was to help HMG conduct market research for a potential international business opportunity in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and provide them with insights on how to establish and build a successful business relationship there. Capitalizing on my Middle East work experience especially in KSA, it was a perfect opportunity for me to provide analysis that will help HMG understand the macro environment and the cultural and linguistic requirements of doing business in KSA. Finally, providing a recommendation for an appropriate mode of entry into Saudi Arabian market and the course of action which will facilitate them making an informed decision on the project. 

What did you enjoy the most?

As a family business that is deeply rooted in its values and principles, right from senior management to shop floor staff, the work atmosphere and environment was very conducive and friendly. I got an opportunity to interact regularly with HMG’s senior management and present my analysis and findings to them, who valued and appreciated my work and contribution. I also had the privilege to represent HMG at the local International Trade Fair organized by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

What did you learn from the experience?

  • Business success comes from building fruitful long-term relationships.
  • Always have an eager mind to learn and never be afraid to ask a lot of questions to build your own understanding
  • Always challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone as this will enable you to realise your full potential.
  • Be resourceful and enjoy the learning process.
  • Express your creativity and add your personal touch to be unique.

Would you recommend a placement to other students?

Yes definitely! A placement offers an opportunity to explore what the ‘real business world’ is out there. Personally, I see it as a platform to implement what you have learnt in class and discover what the reality has to offer. Moreover, you get to build and expand your network of professionals who are more than happy to help and guide you with your career.